Christina Chriss of Kaleido Talks Touring with Sebastian Bach, Detroit Music + More

2021-11-05

Portrait photograph of Detroit rock band Kaleido.

Kaleido – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Drew Johnston

Local Music Beat: Christina Chriss of Detroit rock band Kaleido discusses the band’s fall tour with Sebastian Bach, the Detroit music scene and more in this edition of the column

If you’re familiar with Detroit music, chances are you’ve heard of Kaleido. The Christina Chriss-fronted group got its start nearly a decade ago, and each year, they’ve attracted more and more fans. Now, they’re touring the country, opening for former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach for his full U.S. run.

Chriss caught up with Audio Ink Radio to discuss the history of Kaleido, what it’s like touring with Sebastian Bach and the vitality of the Detroit music scene. Read the full interview below, and find Kaleido online here.

Anne Erickson: Kaleido is such a Detroit staple at this point. Tell me about how the band formed and how you’ve evolved over the years.

Christina Chriss: We met each other in the local Detroit music scene in 2009. Cody (Morales, bass player) and I were playing in a band together at that time and we met Joey (Fava, drummer) who was in another band, when we shared a bill together. We quickly became friends and soon began writing music together, eventually forming Kaleido in 2012. Over time, our friendship became more like family. We got a band house and were working full-time on our band, touring and writing. We’ve evolved a lot over the years, musically and as people. We’ve been unwaveringly focused on our craft and band, and it’s been very organic. We continue to evolve, and it comes through in our music.

You’ve played so many big shows over the years, from Shiprocked to the Vans Warped Tour. What show stands out the most, and why?

We have played some amazing shows and tours all over the U.S. and even did a tour of the U.K. with Alien Ant Farm. The very last Warped Tour in 2019 really stands out, because the lineup was absolutely insane, and (Warped Tour founder) Kevin Lyman chose us to be a part of that very historical, massive event.

Congratulations on your tour with Sebastian Bach. He’s been praising you guys a lot, too. What has the tour been like?

Thank you! We’re having so much fun! It’s a dream come true, really, because we definitely dreamed about this. The tour has been absolutely amazing so far. Sebastian is the coolest ever. He’s been so welcoming and supportive. It’s truly surreal. It’s an honor to share a stage with such a legend that we’ve all looked up to.

What’s ahead for Kaleido, as far as more touring and new music?

We’re on tour with Sebastian until Dec. 17, and we just got added to play the KISS KRUISE. We’re writing and recording new music, and it’s full speed ahead into 2022.

Kaleido is based out of Detroit. What are some of your favorite venues in the Motor City, as well as beyond to play?

The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan, for sure. We love playing at Diesel Concert Theatre and St. Andrews in the Detroit area. We really cut our teeth in Michigan at these venues, so they will always hold a special place in our hearts. Another favorite of ours is Dingbatz in Clifton, New Jersey. We call that place our East Coast home away from home. The staff is awesome, and we love playing there.

What are some local, independent bands that you think should be on people’s radar from the Detroit area?

People should check out our friend Sammy Boller. He’s a guitar phenom, and the whole world should know it! I’m also in an ’80s cover band called Sunset Blvd when I’m not playing with Kaleido, and it’s really fun with an awesome live show.

What are your thoughts on the Detroit and Michigan music scenes? Do you think it’s strong?

It definitely was before COVID-19. We’ve only played a couple of times there since the world opened back up, and both shows were great. Detroit’s the type of vibe where we don’t let things keep us down, so I’m sure it’s back with a vengeance.

Being a woman in rock music, what has your experience been like? Have you ever felt like you were treated differently from the guys in the band?

It’s been good. I’m one of the guys in my mind. To be honest, I don’t pay any mind to that type of stuff, so I don’t recall any specific situations that stick out where I’ve been conscious of being treated differently based upon the fact that I’m a woman. And, even if there was, I wouldn’t care. I do what I do, and that’s rock out!

What advice do you have for women getting into the music field?

Be yourself, unapologetically. Don’t let anybody walk on you, stand your ground and rock!

Anne Erickson’s column appears regularly in Audio Ink Radio. Have a band or concert to share? Contact her at anne@audioinkradio.com.

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